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Back to Gaya
IMDB Rating: 5.2/10 from 1,291 votes
Release: 8 July 2004 (Netherlands) /

Back to Gaya

Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Director: Lenard Fritz Krawinkel,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: The beautiful world of Gaya is home to a community of creatures, known as the Snurks, who are much smaller than humans, but who have an uncanny resemblance to them. But the Snurks are facing imminent danger. Someone has stolen the magic stone called Dalamite without which this world is doomed. Two Snurks named Boo and Zino embark on a dangerous mission to track down and recover the stone. As they attempt to find the stone, their journey takes them into another world that is both strange and frightening! Written by Anthony Pereyra {}

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Critic Reviews

Well, I went to see this movie at a 10 a.m. showing before it got canned, and I was the only one in the cinema. So much for the trouble I went through in order to see this flick.

Well turns that the 5 stars it received are justified. It's a movie that isn't really bad, but makes you cringe when you think what could have been considering ist potential. The Visuals are very good at times and not so good at others. The main technical problem of this movie is the rather unrefined degree of animation (crappy would be to harsh a description to use) which is displayed during the characters movement and them talking (lip sync, facial animation/expression, eye movement, etc..).

The character's movements are either motion captured and therefore very smooth or handanimated. This mixture can work quite well, but it only works when you do a good job animating and blending these two styles in with each other so that nobody notices. Walking and other (relatively) easily capturable movements are done well, yet when it comes to complicated action scenes, with characters being thrown through air, holding on to the hood of a car the animation is poor and wooden. There is no persistent, "believeable" movement going on. In Toy Story for example characters did'nt necessarily move according to reality but they behaved in a unique and in the toy setting consistent as well as beleivable manner. Some polishing would have been necessary yet it didn't happen.

The next problem are facial expressions weren't anything spectacular either. They were acceptable, which unfortunately isn't enough for an animated flick whose main medium to convey the protagonists emotion is facial expression and therefore fails. On the other hand there weren't that many emotional scenes. Actually I can think of only one: the one where one guy tells the other and vice versa what they believe sucks about their friendship. that's it - no death, no loss, nothing to choke you up or get you involved.

The worst of the technical flaws, though is the downright bad or rather the lack of lip sync.

I read some comments here on IMDB before I went to watch this film and therefore my attention was raised on this matter, maybe it biased my perception - but only for the first minutes. After that I was convinced that the head animator must have been blind. In a german movie I expect the german voice overs to be lip synced correctly. I mean you can even have a programm interpreting speech as lip movements and they do a decent job(Deus Ex 1 & 2 for example), but this was so totally off that it must have been on purpose. As it turns out well 15 minutes into the movie or so, one of the main protagonists says something in english and is perfectly in lip sync. From then on its clear that the facial animation was entirely done for english. You then could even read from the lips what they said. Well that's an answer but no excuse, as others already stated, Shrek for example has the "handicap" but does an excellent job. Though some of the voice actors aren't first rate, which leads to some poor voice acting at times (the princess for example). This is really unforgivable and really degrades the exprience.

By the way, was I the only one who thought that "Buu" was cross-eyed?

The story wasn't that great either. Not only was it uninteresting and predicatable but it just wasn't convincing at all. I mean the villains motivation was right out hilarious. Poor character development alongside with a strange pacing of events managed to keep you from getting drawn in. In Pixar movies the stories are always well thought of, structured in a logical, interesting way and you kinda know what they're trying to get at. Also the story is interesting enough to keep you going even if the visuals would suck. Here we have few to no jokes which aren't even funny and worse, no themes like love, fear or friendship are explored beyond a superficial level. Not that I'm expecting a great depth in a children's movie, yet some, at least convincing, plausible depth would is something I expect and certainly most children see it the same way.

So this movie that has a medicore story some more or less severe animational issues, nevertheless it did enjoy it,and so will the audience for which it is intended.

But if you are expecting something like Monster, Inc. keep looking for Shrek 2 or wait till this hits the shelf at your local video store.

The only sad part to this movie is that all the dedication as well as hardwork the creators put in it show a potential which can be seen in glimpses throughout the movie is destroyed by the shortcomings of this movie. With a better script , better dialogue and more time to fine tune the animation as well as a fixed lip sync this movie could have been real good.

Hopefully, the next time, the team who put this together will overcome these flaws mentioned above and once they accomplish this we're in for a real treat!

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